Instilling a healthy mindset in your kids from the start is incredibly important; it can set them up for an entire life of healthy choices. Your children may develop their healthy mindset earlier than we previously thought! Recent research in the New England Journal of Medicine illustrated that a child's “weight fate” is determined by age 5. Half of the children in the study that started were obese when they entered kindergarten were still obese by the 8th grade!
Most parents realize that it's important to raise a healthy child, but it's hard to teach them (or get them playing outside for that matter) when they are always playing on their phones or gaming systems (more than likely they is probably applies to young teens). One way to implement a healthy mindset is to use that technology to your advantage! Check out our list of 5 of the best free health / fitness apps for kids; all available for iOS!
1. Max's Plate – This app helps kids learn their basic food groups. The timed game has kids placing the specific food in one of the five food groups in order to score the most points therefore helping them understand what a well-balanced meal is! This app is for younger children and is a great way to teach nutrition in a fun manner!
2. Eat-And-Move-O-Matic -This app is great for everyone (not just kids). It shows you the amount of calories in the foods you eat and the corresponding length of specific exercises that you would have to perform to work off those calories! For example, if you eat a medium fries (4 oz, 370 calories) it will take almost 2 hours of jumping on a trampoline to work that off. It's a way to understand that healthy food habits correlate to less work needed to work off those calories!
3. Awesome Eats – Awesome Eats is a fun, engaging game for in which you sort healthy foods in order to score points (over 60 levels)! It can help instill a healthy mindset in kids because it also displays a ton of healthy and interesting nutrition tips! This app is great because it introduces kids to new foods, encouraging them to try new things!
4. NFL Play 60 – Talk about actually getting your kid off the couch; you actually have to run, jump, and make quick turns to play this game! This endless runner app has you collecting coins throughout the game that will help you unlock new characters and NFL team gear! It is only available on iPhone 4S, iPod 5, iPad 2 and all newer models.
5. MotionMaze – Like the NFL Play 60 app, this app will also get your kid up off the couch! It's a puzzle game in which you need to help the Captain find the hidden treasure! You physically have to walk/run in place to navigate the maze! Literally making you get off the couch!
All of these apps are great because they either teach your child about nutrition or actually get them moving; either way it's a winning situation! Next time you are having trouble teaching your child proper nutrition or trying to get them outside try these apps to motivate them; or you can always just take their phone away!